The Advocate Weekly

In This Issue
Quick Links
Legislative Action
Biennial Growth - Starting to Unpack the Data
Looking at the fiscal growth from the current biennium to next biennium, there is a $769 million increase in spending. That's a lot of money and some legislators will tell you its a significant increase for education.
This is not exactly true.
Education math can be confusing, especially biennium to biennium. Next Monday we will begin to unpack this for you here in the Weekly Advocate and what it really means for education so you can talk with your legislators.


My Legislators

Calendar Items

Mark your calendars now for Monday, April 3 for MSBA Day at the  Capitol.

 Week 3 - January 16, 2017
School Board Members and Superintendents:
New Monday Morning Briefing with the GR Team

It was great to see and talk with so many of you at the Leadership Conference last week. We always learn so much from our conversations and hope you enjoyed the roundtables, workshops and speakers.
Grace Keliher provided a legislative update Thursday morning.  Many of you requested an electronic copy of her presentation so you can find it here. 

Last week
The four education committees met for mostly committee rule review and introductions of both members and education stakeholders.
Monday the Senate E-12 Finance committee met for an overview and discussion of some major components of growth in E-12 Finance.
The House Education Finance meeting provided an overview of Minnesota Education Finance System by House Research Staff and House Fiscal staff.
Remember this year, the Senate has two education committees, the Senate E-12 Education Policy and Senate E-12 Finance committee. The E-12 Finance committee heard from Mark Haveman, Executive Director, Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence on Wednesday on Implications of Cost Trends for State Education Aid.      

This week
The House Education Innovation Policy committee will receive an update on the Legislative Study Group on Educator Licensing Report. House Education Finance will receive an overview of early childhood education issues and a MDE presentation on implementation of voluntary pre-K pilot program.
If you are interested in watching either of these, please click on the House TV/Video link to the left for the scheduled meeting.

In national education news, Secretary of Education nominee, Betsy DeVos will begin confirmation hearings  in the Senate Health, Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Tuesday, January 17 at 5 pm. This hearing was originally scheduled for January 11 but was delayed a week.  Click the link to watch the live feed. 
Bills of Interest & Impact
New Bills and Bill Updates
Each week new bills will be highlighted in this section as well as updates on the bills that have been heard.  As the session progresses, we will provide updates from the conference committees. When there is a hearing on a significant bill, we will also try and provide links to the video so you can watch with us.

H. F. 84, A bill for an act relating to pupil transportation; requiring seat belts on newly purchased school buses.

H. F. 97, A bill for an act relating to education; integrating service-learning into Minnesota's education system; establishing an evidence-based service-learning grant program; appropriating money.

H. F. 136 & S.F. 65, Bills for an act relating to state government; providing for zero-based budgeting.

H. F. 140, A bill for an act relating to education; directing the commissioner of education to plan for restructuring Minnesota's teacher licensure system.

H. F. 149, A bill for an act relating to education finance; establishing a working group to review progress on Minnesota's school finance reform efforts.

H. F. 181, A bill for an act relating to education finance; creating a new source of state aid for school districts with low general education revenue per pupil and low property wealth per pupil.

S.F. No. 62: A bill for an act relating to education; modifying the calculation of special education aid; increasing school district basic revenue; indexing basic revenue to inflation; authorizing a school district to renew an expiring referendum by action of the school board.

S.F. No. 107: A bill for an act relating to education; modifying Principals' Leadership Institute provisions.

 S.F. No. 116: A bill for an act relating to education; establishing a Professional Educator Standards Board; providing for rulemaking.

Notes from the GR Team

Denise Dittrich is participating on the ESSA committee at MDE. Please take a moment to complete this short survey.
ESSA Survey
In order to hear from as many Minnesotans as possible, MDE has created a survey to gather feedback about ESSAThe survey is available in four languages, and all responses are anonymous. We encourage all stakeholders, parents, students, teachers and staff to participate. Please share this opportunity with interested parties. The survey is open until January 31. Please contact
with any questions. 

Broadband for Kids 12 Greater Minnesota School Districts - The $500,000 in funds that were appropriated during the 2016 Legislative Session was enough to help 12 Greater Minnesota school districts provide better access to high-speed Internet for their students

If you have questions that have come up since the conference or have something to share, please reply here. We would really appreciate hearing from you.


Your Government Relations Team
Grace Keliher
Denise Dittrich
Kimberley Lewis

Minnesota School Boards Association | 507-934-8133 | |
145 University Avenue West
St. Paul, MN 55103